BCCI rolled out a brand new requirement for cricketers to be eligible for the Indian men’s cricket team. The fitness test aka the Yo-Yo has already generated a fair bit of discussion on various cricket forums. (Music lovers will be well advised to not conflate this with the great cello player who is the mother of this test)
Facial hair is the new mandatory requirement
Ravi Shastri famous for his mustache that won over many a teenage girl in the 1980s declared that real men wear their facial hair with pride. Shastri gazing longingly at a picture on his desk said, “ Look at the greatest Indian team of all time - the 1983 World Cup winning team - just look at those handsome faces and the glorious facial hair.
I tell you those West Indians were absolutely jealous of our facial hair.” When this correspondent pointed out the notable absence of facial hair on Sunny Gavaskar’s face, Shastri took a giant swig of his Johnnie Walker Blue Label and said “no comments”. At which point Kris Srikkanth jumps into our Zoom call - furiously contorting his nostrils, he sniffles furiously three times and says “ Boss I am so yexzited to be here - too much presshure at home from my missus. You see, the day before the final, our fearless leader Kapil Paaji told me to do something about Sunny’s stubborn refusal to comply with his facial hair diktat. So I sneaked into Sunny’s room and stole his razor and shaving cream and brush.” Shastri adds, “ Look, in those days we didn’t get paid a lot and our mustache meant moolah. The only way Kapil Paaji could retire was all the thousands of Rupees he made endorsing Palmolive shaving products.” At this point we are joined by the great man Kapil Paaji himself who says “I was just not happy with Sunny’s…” He stops mid-sentence and pulls out his trusted Rapidex English - Punjabi reference kunji and then completes his sentence after what seems like an eternity, “attitude”. Talk about hanging on every word that Kapil spoke - literally.
Shastri continues, now two large Johnnies in “ After that great era, for nearly two decades between 1995 and 2015 Indian men’s team lost their way. All these gora babas like Wright and Chappell zabardasti made our boys shave all traces of facial hair - just look at our 2003 World Cup final team where we got our backside handed to us by Punter and the Aussies
"All these pus….” he smiles and quickly corrects him “effeminate role models like Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Zaheer, Ashish Nehra who were brainwashed into being ashamed of facial hair. These goras took good Madrasi boys like Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble who had nice mustaches and turned them into clean shaven ch#$@!s.
Thankfully, those dark days are behind us and now the greatest generation of Indian cricketers is hair to stay” he finishes in a mock Punjabi accent. He gazes with glazed eyes at his phone and holds up a picture that has his most recent tweet of the Indian team, triumphant after the recent India - England series. "Look at everyone of these studs, those beards are magnificent.” Evoking the famous tagline of the US Marine Corps, Shastri signs off with “ The few, the proud , the hirsute! Just you wait, tattoos are coming next!”
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